SC judge makes preliminary ruling against church in lawsuit over oversight of college

Greenville, USA - A South Carolina judge has blocked the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church's effort to replace nearly half the trustees at Erskine College.

Judge Eugene Griffith said the college's accreditation could be threatened and the school could be harmed if the church carried out its plan to create a new board and approve new bylaws on how Erskine is governed. Three trustees targeted for ouster and the Erskine alumni association have sued over the church's plan.

The judge's April 9th ruling came in the form of a preliminary injunction to maintain the 30-member board while the case is in court.

The dispute arose after a review by a church-appointed commission. The panel concluded that the board had failed to provide proper oversight for the liberal arts college in Abbeville County. The comission also said some professors had created a "culture of intimidation" in which some students felt they were ridiculed because of their religious beliefs.

The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church established Erskine College in 1839. The school states is mission as providing a liberal arts education in a Christ-centered environment "where learning and biblical truth are integrated to develop the whole person."